Friday, August 23, 2013

Elite (Eagle Elite #1), by Rachel Van Dyken

4 out of 5 stars

I received an ARC copy of this book from NetGalley in exchange for an honest review...

In an effort to please her dying grandmother Trace applies for the Eagle Elite annual scholarship lottery.  The changes of getting in are one in a million, however, it seems as though luck is on her side when she is chosen as the recipient.  While attending Eagle Elite may not have been Trace's first choice she goes because in the end all she wants to do one day is take care of her grandfather, a simple farmer in Wyoming.  Trace knows this school will open many doors of opportunities with good paying jobs, which will make taking care of him not only easier but possible.

Upon arrival to Eagle Elite Trace senses this isn't going to be a normal college experience.  It seems as though Eagle Elite is an entirely different world of its own.  For starters there is a group of students known as the Elect who not only run the place but have very strict rules, which must be followed at all times..."#1 Do not touch the Elect.  #2 Do not look at the Elect.  #3 Do not speak to the Elect."  The Elect happens to be run by Nixon who as you can imagine Trace is instantly attracted to, and why wouldn't she be he's hot, mysterious and has tattoos.  Unfortunately, Trace soon realizes Nixon is spiteful and mean with every one of his actions coming across with the sole purpose of making Trace's life a living nightmare.

From the get go Trace comes across as strong and determined, never letting on to how much Nixon's antics are getting under her skin.  She does her best to stand up to him showing her new peers while she may have won the lottery to get there she can belong.  However, no amount of determination helps because Eagle Elite is like living stuck in nightmare.  The more she gets to know people the more confused she becomes.  She isn't sure who can be trusted and she cannot figure out why not only the students but the teachers as well allow Nixon and the Elect to run all aspects of the school.  Obviously there are secrets, but what happens when Trace realizes their secrets quite possibly involve her???

This was a very intriguing read for me.  While reading I had theories as to who Nixon was and how Trace may play into the bigger picture, but Rachel Van Dyken kept me guessing for the majority of the book.  The pieces didn't all come together until the end and then I was left wondering what's going to happen next for Trace and Nixon.  Fortunately you are treated to the Prologue of Elect, the second book in the series, at the end and my first reaction when I finished reading was..."no way!!!  That cannot happen!!!"

When I read Elite I was kind of in a reading slump, having not recently read anything that really sucked me in.  Fortunately Elite broke the cycle.  I was so consumed trying to figure out where this story was going, who was Nixon, does her really care for Trace, how is it going to end, is Trace who I think she is?  That I had a hard time putting the book down.  Those things being said remember this is a fiction book, it's not real.  So many times we read books and get upset if they don't have any resemblance to reality, which is why some people don't like paranormal.  I cannot say that's me.  I read to escape and this was a fun, exciting somewhat dangerous escape.  I have no idea if a world like this really exists and I don't care, it made for a very intriguing reality escape.

Trace was awesome.  I loved how strong she was and it didn't bother me she was clueless at times.  I think she was putting things together herself but at the same time may have been living in denial about what it meant for her.  I love how she stood up for herself, always making the best of the situation she was handed.  Even though she was put through the ringer she seemed to stay true to herself.

Trace and Nixon have some pretty awesome chemistry and I cannot wait to see more of this couple together. I foresee some serious obstacles.  I love how Nixon was written to come across as a strong, determined, take charge jerk of a leader, yet it was all just a front.  Underneath that persona he is fiercely loyal, gentle, protective an actual gentleman.

This was my second Rachel Van Dyken book and I was not disappointed, I really love her stories.  Take a chance, one click Elite today!  For $2.99 you cannot go wrong, in my opinion it's a steal!

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